Jesus Christ warned his listeners that "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed" (Matthew 24:6). Some 2,000 years later we still are hearing of wars and rumors of wars.
Indeed, it is hard to keep track of them these days. Who can follow the Biden administration’s constant predictions of Russia invading Ukraine? It was supposed to happen last week. Or this past weekend. Or maybe this week. Or, well, sometime in the future.
However, it’s even harder to avoid alarm. After all, we can be certain that every day some analyst, journalist, lobbyist, think tank, legislator, or other influential policymaker in Washington is urging the US to go to war. And with little concern for the moral equities or practical consequences.
The Iraq war resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans, wounding of tens of thousands, deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and displacement of millions. Iraq was ravaged. Religious minorities were kidnapped, raped, murdered, and driven abroad. The Islamic State was created. Iran was empowered. Yet no one of note who concocted or implemented the Iraq disaster was held responsible for his or her actions. Instead, those responsible were routinely rewarded and promoted; many are still active planning new wars for Americans to fight. Being repeatedly wrong only seems to make members of the War Party more enthusiastic about the next conflict.
For instance, despite its promises to end the Yemen war, the Biden administration is escalating US involvement in Yemen, deploying ships and planes to actively fight on behalf of the Saudis and Emiratis. After seven years of murderous attacks on Yemen civilians, Washington finally feels outrage at the war. The insurgent Houthis have had the effrontery to fire back so Washington is going to protect the forces responsible for the bulk of the conflict’s murder, mayhem, starvation, and disease.
Iran long has been a target of war-happy neocons, for whom the nuclear issue was but a welcome excuse. John Bolton, National Security Adviser for President Donald Trump, is one notable who has spent years campaigning for war. Although optimistic reports about the nuclear negotiations with Iran suggest that a revived deal is close, more than a few enthusiastic saboteurs are lurking nearby – Israel, Republican legislators, Saudi Arabia. Even the Biden administration issued a veiled threat of military action if a deal was not concluded. If the GOP takes the White House in 2024, confrontation is likely to return as the order of the day, with war a distinct possibility.
North Korea long has drawn fans of preventive war. Bolton recently said he still thinks it would be a good idea. More alarmingly, President Bill Clinton came close to attacking the North. So apparently, did Trump. One would think that Pyongyang’s possession of nuclear weapons would have chastened even him. However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a frenetic advocate of every war fought, proposed, or imagined, approvingly quoted the president as figuring that nuclear war would be no big deal: people would "die over there" rather than "here." What are a few hundred thousand or million dead among friends?
Last fall there was an upsurge in debate within the foreign policy establishment over the US making clear its commitment to Taiwan’s defense against China. That means maintaining a military strong enough to impose its will nearly 8,000 miles from home. And being prepared for a serious war with a nuclear power over an issue of almost existential interest to Beijing. That war would look much more like the Korean War or World War II than like Afghanistan or Iraq.
Then there is Ukraine. The usual hawks reassuringly insist that no one in Washington favors going to war with Russia for Ukraine. I mean, who could be that crazy?! But Biden has been repeatedly criticized for having taken US military action "off the table." And Sen. Roger Wicker – that is, US Senator Roger Wicker – wants the Biden administration to fight Russia over Ukraine, give Vladimir Putin "a bloody nose," "rain destruction upon Russian military capability," and not "rule out first use nuclear action." First use of nuclear weapons. That would result in a nuclear war that wouldn’t just kill people "over there.’ One is tempted to dismiss such talk as the ravings of a madman on the lam from St. Elizabeth’s in DC. However, most people imagine a US Senate seat as being a serious position.
In this world people need to be informed. Where to go to learn about international affairs and the latest wars and rumors of war? Who provides comprehensive foreign policy coverage? What websites cover more than the conventional wisdom promoted by the Blob, as the Washington foreign establishment has been called? Where do commentators opposed to not just wars but also rumors of wars appear?
Antiwar.com, of course.
As a policy nerd and writer, I am desperate for information. In the first instance I need articles. But I also seek continuing news sources. The folks who work at Antiwar.com – a labor of love by people who sacrifice to work for an organization that runs on a shoestring – provide both.
What makes Antiwar.com particularly impressive is how it serves as a reliable news source even for those who don’t agree with its message. Journalists, researchers, opinion leaders, and Pentagon officials rely on the website. They realize that the Antiwar.com family is made up of ideologues for peace. However, these readers know Antiwar.com remains dedicated to delivering accurate information and honest opinion.
The Website does so first through its news coverage. If something is happening in the world, Antiwar.com will provide a link. If war is threatening, Antiwar.com will fill a section. Day after day. There also are viewpoints, opinion commentary on the issues. From these contributors you learn what’s really going on, who is behind seemingly inexplicable policies, and why time and again Washington takes the American people into unnecessary and disastrous wars. Naturally, the DC Blob and the bipartisan war party prefer to keep this information from you.
Antiwar.com’s staff also maintains a blog. Through it they cover and summarize articles and videos. Armchair news hounds can follow the links and get the full treatment, leading to new facts and sources. It is a particularly useful tool for policymakers, as well as people who care about both their nation and world.
Antiwar.com also offers regular columnists, like me, and occasional contributors. We fill the political spectrum and come from very different backgrounds. We are of different nationalities. Some have been in politics. Others served in the military. I am one of the policy geeks. There are activists, economists, and academics. We all share a commitment to peace. A belief in truth. And a determination to hold the US government accountable for its actions – and crimes.
However, none of this is possible without the support of readers like you. There is no one else upon whom Antiwar.com can rely. After all, it doesn’t receive any US government grants. Or establishment foundation money. There are no congressional earmarks for the peacemakers. Arms makers certainly don’t contribute to Antiwar.com. Neither do foreign governments. Even the most woke corporations don’t write checks to Antiwar.com. Nor do think tanks, which play such an important role in promoting endless war.
The battle in Washington continues. Every day offers a repeat of David vs. Goliath. Unfortunately, in this world Goliath often wins. But this is a battle that we cannot abandon. The stakes are too high. The principles are too important. And the lives at stake – ours and everyone else’s – are too precious. Please contribute and help Antiwar.com continue this fight for peace today and into the future.
Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America’s New Global Empire.